Pithos Bianco (Azienda Agricola COS), 2009

If you follow foodie trends there has been a recent push to get consumers to revisit classic Italian whites, such as Verdhicchio, as well as the not so common wines from COS.  Although hard to come by in our Canadian provincial system, we had a bottle of white Pithos at a Portland restaurant this month.

While the best white wine we had in a long Italian trip two years ago was hands down Sicilian white (true, better than many of the “star” reds, better than some Barolo even), this bottle (unusually shaped and a little cryptic) was, well, quite unexpected.  First, none of us had ever drunk grecanico (which is apparently the same as garganega, another lesser found Italian wine in our parts).  The colour was a deep golden hue, the wine was fat and a tad syrupy, with some straw, nuttiness and a little citrus and absolutely bone dry, lip tingling dry.  I would imagine this would be the perfect bottle with some fresh, and slightly oily anchovies or a garlicky aioli, on a deck overlooking the Mediterranean on Sicily in the heat of summer.  Kudos for 11% alcohol.  But it was also awkwardly old-fashioned, as though it had been made this way for a century or two without a note of alteration and it had, how can you put it, a one-note character that never opened up or really made it palatable.  We agreed that maybe had it been blended we all could have liked it just a tad more.

Price: $39 USD in a restaurant; not available locally.

Market Liquidity: More curiosity than keepsake.

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